Does the career you’re thinking of going into matches the dreams you have? In this episode, wife Kerri Courtright joins Ken Courtright to discuss career planning that is solid and future-proofed. They discuss current realities and their effect on future employment opportunities. Ken and Kerry share tools you can use to do your research about new avenues and to stay up to speed with technology changes. Using their strategy, you can come out with either a Plan B or a resolve to initiate change in your chosen industry.
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I am here with a special guest. The beautiful Miss Kerri Courtright. Kerri, say hello.
This episode as all episodes leading up to our October event, Digital Footprint is sponsored by Digital Footprint. If you haven’t got your tickets already, I suggest highly that you get them quickly as this event will sell out as the last events have sold out. With that said, let’s talk on the new added day to Digital Footprint. We’re going to do what’s called Women’s Day. We’re going to do 10 to 15-minute TED Talks by women only. We have some women that are speaking that are ex-national directors in sales.
We have some gals that have worldwide businesses. We have a tremendous lineup of speaker after speaker and we’re going to take a break and do a mini campfire about 8:00 at night. From what I hear over, there might be a special beverage at the end. We’re going to hold that secret as there is a beverage with the word campfire in the title that we might help launch. With that, I am going to turn over the beginning of this podcast to my beautiful bride, Kerri. I’m going to come in in the middle and then wrap it up. See you guys.
Ken and I have the opportunities to speak with people around the world and it’s always fun to talk with the youth. I had the pleasure to speak with a group of high school students. I was supposed to talk about careers and what I do, but honestly, that’s not what kids need to hear. What they need to hear is what’s out there. What’s the reality in terms of fields and finding a field? I always start asking kids, my first question is, “What is it you think you’d like to do when you grow up?” They go around the room, a pilot, a writer and some of them were honest and said they had no idea, which is refreshing because that’s real. Most kids don’t know what they want to do yet at this age.
The next question I have for them is, “How would you like to live? What lifestyle do you want to have?” When you asked them that question, at first, it’s a little awkward because no one wants to say, “I’d like to have a big house.” “I’d like to stay at home. I’d like to make sure that my spouse or I stay at home with the kids.” “I like to travel.” I started it off and I said, “I knew when I grew up, I wanted to travel.” We went around the room and some of them were travel and they finally started to warm up, “I’d like a nice car,” or “I’d like to be able to donate to charity.” That’s real.
I asked again, “Will your choice of career be the one that will give you what you’d like to have as your lifestyle or how you would like to live?” That’s something that everyone needs to think of. Especially in that room while they’re young before they go to college and before they start spending all the money to find a career that they’re paying $60,000 a year for an education where they’ll probably max out at 40. That’s an eye-opener. On top of that, I also went around the room and I said, “This one will match. You want to be a pilot and you want to travel. That matches up.”
I took one a nice educated young man and said, “Your choice of wanting to be an investigative reporter and then wanting to own a Ferrari doesn’t exactly line up.” At first, he was taken aback by that. He said, “What are you saying? I cannot be an investigative reporter. That’s the wrong decision?” I said, “No, I will never shake your tree. I will never take your dream away. What I’m saying is in today’s way of doing things, your idea of wanting to have a Ferrari via the vehicle, the employment of being investigative reporter might not line up, and I want you to be aware of that.” He said, “What do you mean?” I said, “Instead of looking at what I’m going to tell you as a hurdle to block, use that as a hurdle. You’re going to go over it or go around it.
Let’s talk about investigative reporting briefly. Nowadays, newspapers are, I don’t want to say they’re dying, but they’re conglomerating. They are joining forces, which means there are fewer news reporters out there. Instead of being at a household, you’re going online and there are lots of lots of other vehicles, online websites that are vying for your attention. Newspapers aren’t necessarily getting the attention that they used to have. I can get my attention via going to Entrepreneur, Wall Street Journal or the Chicago Tribune. I don’t have to go through the Morris Daily Herald. On top of that, there are a lot of people who would like to be writers and they’d like to have the accreditation of being a writer. There are vehicles online called HARO, Help a Reporter Out where someone will submit information for free. Why would a newspaper pay for an investigative journalist when they can get some information for free?
Instead of looking at those things as a block, now you know what you have to deal with and that’s how you become the best investigative journalist. You utilize that information, find technology, create your path, and you will be a fabulous investigative journalist using a different vehicle than the traditional way of doing it, and then you’ll be able to own your Ferrari.” It sounds a little confusing again to a high schooler, but at least it got them thinking. As I found out, they are thinking. What does it mean for us as business owners? We too, our industries are changing and they’re changing very rapidly. In fact, it was only 2010 when Google announced its driverless cars. On September 14, 2016, it was announced online that Uber has its first driverless taxis in Pittsburgh. How do you find this information out? There are lots of vehicles out there and they give you a little taste.
It was in 1995, that Carnegie Mellon University Robotics drove it little car called Navlab 5 from Pittsburgh to LA, which is why Uber is choosing Pittsburgh as their place to launch the driverless car. Navlab drove from Pittsburgh to LA on a trip with no hands across America. These driverless cars have been out there for a while. These people have been trying to design it, but it wasn’t until through Google that the technology was able to be utilized effectively. There are a lot of ways that we can find out how to change our industry. Ken, would you like to talk about that?
Kerri is making the point where she spoke to a group of high school kids and she was challenging them, “Does the career that you’re thinking of going to match the dreams that you have?” In essence, she first started with the dream. What do you want out of life? You can picture on the right side of a piece of paper a dream circle. “I want this, I want this, I want to do this, I want to do this.” She said, “On the left side, picture your job. Does that job produce the revenue to match or exceed your goals or dreams?” She got a lot of these kids thinking. It turns out one of the kids responded well to the challenge.Once you think you're on to something, you double-check yourself and see if the world agrees with you. Click To Tweet
My point of this is to come in and say to everybody reading this blog, let’s go down the same road. What is your dream? What is your goal? Does your current job or career produce the offset revenue to achieve that dream or that goal? Let’s presuppose that it doesn’t. What do we do? How exactly do we change or grow our current vehicle, so it produces more? One thing that we do across 700 plus websites that every single person reading this blog can employ is, I’m not going to call it the Law of Attraction. You can create arrows or roadways of information that within 3, 6, 9, 12 months can take you from a rookie to an expert in your field.
There’s a complete podcast on this and it’s called Rookie To Expert. To take it to Kerri’s point, the people that are going to excel monetarily in the future are the people that are going to apply tremendous value, add tremendous value to the masses and/or be the true expert in their field. If not even plowing in a new direction in a couple of years that don’t even exist now. The question is, how do you find these new avenues that’ll be open in a couple of years about this driverless car in Pittsburgh? That’s new to me. I didn’t know that happened. That’s cool. The question is, how does the average person stay up to speed?”
Let’s stick with this investigative journalist kid. It’s perfect. If I were this young man and I was going to be an investigative journalist, or even maybe I want it to be the best fireman. What I would do is, I would go to a tool called Google AdWords Keyword tool, and I would type in phrases like, “Become an investigative journalist or investigative journalists or investigative journalist salaries,” I would put at least 3 to 4 phrases that are somewhat related to investigative journalism into the tool and I would run the tool.
The tool by default is set to relevance. It’s going to go back 30 days and Google is going to scan how many different people typed each of those four phrases into Google in the 30 days prior. Since that tool is set to relevance, it’s going to find out what the same IP addresses that type those phrases in also typed in. Meaning, of the four phrases that were put into the Google search bar X amount of times, what did the same people that type those in also search for? That is going to provide this young man with somewhere around 6 to 800 phrases regarding investigative journalism.
If I were that young man or if that young man was my son, I would sit him down and I would scan through these 600 phrases and see which of these phrases do we feel don’t fit. Why are they there? Are they sister cousin key phrases? Sometimes you’re going to find phrases in there that you scratch your head going, “What in the world are they talking about? What are these people searching for?” When you do your own investigative journalism of these phrases, you find out, “There’s a burgeoning new industry developing here.” Kerri nailed it on the head. Newspapers are dead. It is official.
You can look up the numbers of printed newspaper pages. There were 5,500 newspapers in this country several years ago. A few years ago, there were 500 and now they’re about 150 and that counts the small papers, which are all owned by a conglomerate. Our little Morris Daily Herald, which is a town of 8,000 people, is owned by the Chicago Sun-Times, which is owned by a global conglomerate. The reality is there are only 150 newspapers. Kerri is exactly right. If you’re going to be an investigative journalist, you better have plan B because the odds of you going in the old fashioned way and starting to write for a major paper, even a small paper is slim.
How cool would it be if your plan B was to study the industry you’re about to go into and go into that industry with an attack plan? When you go interview for jobs, you can ask questions to these editors like, “Is this paper considering this and this? Do they write with this writing style? Are they incorporating pictures this way and this way? What you would do is, you would regurgitate all of the information you learned from that first tool, Google AdWords keywords tool. Once you think you’ve honed down and spotted maybe 2 to 3 niches to go into, I would take those niche key phrases and put them into another tool called BuzzSumo.
That tool does something different than the first tool. That tool tells you the most viral pieces of content written in the last twelve months on each of those phrases. Once you think you’re on to something, you double-check yourself and see if the world agrees with you that something else is hot and heavy in that space. Plug it into BuzzSumo and then read what are the most viral pieces of content in that space. You can even contact the people who wrote and promoted those. If it was me, I would do exactly what my wife suggested in that classroom. I would challenge every person, including everybody reading this blog and ask yourself, based on what I’m doing, if this industry or position had to be reinvented, which you know it’s going to be, why don’t you be the one to redefine it? The buggy whip doesn’t exist anymore, the Buggy Whip Manufactures. I’ll turn it back over to Kerri.
You can go to other tech blogs, like Wired is one that I went on to get some more information on where he could go or what’s coming up. Let’s go back to Uber. Now that we know that Uber has driverless cars and you’re looking to be a taxi driver and get extra money, do you think that you have a full employment security vehicle right there? I’m going to tell you no. The reason why I have to tell you no is because in Singapore, they’re already testing driverless taxi. That industry is going bye-bye. That means a whole lot of people are going to be unemployed in that area. We take car manufacturing. There are cars with driverless cars. There are a lot of different components that are going to go into driverless cars, which means you’re more electronic. Instead of people manufacturing cars, it will be more automatic.
There is a whole industry being affected. However, there are different industries that could be created. If you are in the taxi driving industry and you go on and realize that things are changing, it’s not the end of the world, that’s the beginning of a new vertical for your business. That’s the exciting part. That’s what I was trying to convey to the student. It’s not something to be depressed about. It’s something to be excited about. It’s a whole new way of you creating something. You being in the inventor of a new part of this industry. Someone has to create and someone has to come up with the idea. Even if you don’t know how to get it done, that’s the beauty of America, you find someone to help you and the two of you create this new vertical and space.
The underlying theme of this episode message is simple. It goes back to podcast number one, S-Curves. The Law of Entropy says, “Everything manmade or God made is to go from order to disorder.” If we know that, which everybody on this podcast knows that, do your homework and find a way to accept that 100% of main sources of income fail. If you’re the breadwinner or your current position is your main source of income while you’re going to school, putting yourself through college or doing this or that, get honest with yourself. Say, “What can I do to sharpen my saw? Where can I go right now to better or redefine this space and be the leader in this space?” With that episode, Ken and Kerri Courtright. Take care.
- Kerri Courtright
- Digital Footprint
- Help a Reporter Out
- Rookie To Expert – previous episode